Running a business means making difficult choices. You only have a finite amount of resources, time, and energy. And yet, it still needs to constantly grow and improve if you want to see success. Well, luckily for you, we have written up this little article that can help you out.
You don’t have to spend an insane amount of money to improve your company. Small, consistent habits and ideas can actually help you build your organization over time very efficiently. Check out our budget-friendly ideas below and learn how to do more with less.
Focus on how you spend your time
Most items on our list deal with helping you become more efficient, teaching you how to do more with less. Most of them are indirect, they are budget-friendly tips that are there to improve one aspect of your company, thus giving you better results without spending too much money (if any). However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about how you do things directly.
Think about your daily workflow, about how you do things at the office. Are you really as efficient as you could be? How many hours and how much time do you spend on things that don’t matter? Do your employees and contractors waste time, upping their billable hours without actually helping your company make money?
As an example – did you really need to make that phone call? Was a simple email enough? Instead of taking 15 minutes to write a good, detailed message, you spent an hour and a half speaking to a client. While this is great for building rapport, you still lost an hour you could have invested in making more money.
Think of this issue as saving money by saving time. If you try to get good deals on products and services in order to save some cash, why not do the same to save some time, thus creating space to earn more money.
Have clear goals and a clear plan
You won’t be able to accomplish much without a goal. In fact, this Forbes article goes into detail on goal setting, its importance. It shows that people who do not set goals have lower chances of achieving success compared to those who do. It does make sense – you can’t really hit a target if you can’t see it, now can you?
This just might be the most budget-friendly tip on this list. All you need is a piece of paper, a pen, or just an opened text editor. You sit down, alone, undisturbed, and write down what you want to accomplish. Just remember to keep your goals S.M.A.R.T. :
If you fail to fulfill any of the above points, there is a good chance that you won’t be able to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself. They might be too complex, or too vague. Maybe you will lose motivation because you can’t accurately measure said goals.
Think about how you communicate with your clients and your employees. You want to focus on two things with both parties – clarity and information/communication storage.
For clarity, we mean you work on how you communicate your plan and ideas to your clients and employees. Do they understand what you mean exactly? Are you direct and unambiguous? The last thing you need is a misunderstanding making you lose time and money. Your clients need to understand exactly what you want to share with them, and how you will provide them with your services and/or products. The people that work for you shouldn’t spend time trying to figure out what you actually want them to do.
Communication storage sounds fancy, but it’s rather simple. You always want to have, as much as possible, documented proof of your interactions with people in the workplace. Always send an email to a client after you finished speaking to them, an email that summarizes the deal you want to make. Have the assignments you give to your employees in writing, whether on actual paper or through some employee, intranet app, and communications network.
As a final caveat to both – using as few means of communication as possible, like phone calls, email, and an employee app, makes things much simpler.
Take and Encourage breaks
Yes, breaks. It might sound horrifying, especially if you’re the type A, let’s get stuff done type, but you need breaks. It might seem like a waste of time, but it’s highly beneficial in the longterm. In fact, according to the BBC, taking breaks can “reboot your brain”.
Overworking yourself means you are more likely to make mistakes. The accumulated fatigue and stress means you will not be as productive as you could be. Furthermore, your creativity will suffer, as will motivation. The same goes for your employees.
The best part of taking breaks is that they feel good and, yes, they are free.
Improving your business doesn’t have to break the bank. If you are smart with your resources, your employees, and your time, you can easily increase productivity without investing extra money. Focus on better communication, and in general how you spend your time. Take breaks, remember that this will help you become more productive, and will do wonders for your motivation. Set goals, plan out a schedule, and stick to them.